Columbian Exposition engineer / FRI 7-4-14 / First-century governor of Britain whose name was Latin for farmer / Signer of Kansas-Nebraska Act / Through Dark Continent author 1878 / Creature outwitted by Hop-o'-my-thumb
Friday, July 4, 2014
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: AGRICOLA (17A: First-century governor of Britain, whose name was Latin for "farmer") —
Gnaeus Julius Agricola (June 13, 40 – August 23, 93) was a Gallo-Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. Written by his son-in-law Tacitus, the De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae is the primary source for most of what is known about him, along with detailed archaeological evidence from northern Britain.Agricola began his military career in Britain, serving under governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. His subsequent career saw him serve in a variety of positions; he was appointed quaestor in Asia province in 64, then Plebeian Tribune in 66, and praetor in 68. He supported Vespasian during theYear of the Four Emperors (69), and was given a military command in Britain when the latter became emperor. When his command ended in 73, he was made patrician in Rome and appointed governor of Gallia Aquitania. He was made consul and governor of Britannia in 77. While there, he completed the conquest of what is now Wales and northern England, and led his army to the far north of Scotland, establishing forts across much of the Lowlands. He was recalled from Britain in 85 after an unusually lengthy service, and thereafter retired from military and public life. (wikipedia)
• • •BATTLE-SCARRED / BATTER UP) = probably less than ideal, but … I can't really level that criticism with any conviction or even a straight face.
Trouble today came from proper nouns—namely FERRIS, the eponymous wheel guy who I didn't know was the eponymous wheel guy (30D: Columbian Exposition engineer)—and that little word at the end of HAVE A NICE … (15D: Send-off for the dear departed?). The question mark tells me it's not really an obituary or anything about the dead. It's a play on words, something you say to someone you love who is leaving. OK. HAVE A NICE … TIME? (buzzzzz). Oh, maybe it's very sad and the person is going away for ever and so HAVE A NICE … LIFE? (buzzzzzzzz). Gah. Finally [Veins' contents] and [Olympic skater Katarina] (both gimmes) got me FURROW, and thus, with that "R" cross, TRIP. HAVE A NICE TRIP. To my, let's say, credit, when I type "have a nice" into google, the first two suggested searches are completed by DAY and LIFE. If I'd only had the "T" from POT, but I just couldn't see that answer given the (very nice) clue (39A: All you can take with one hand).
I am not kidding when I say everything else in this grid, everything I haven't already mentioned, went down so fast I barely remember it. So, perhaps too easy, but terribly beautiful nonetheless.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld